Do You Drive for Uber or Lyft? Your Policy May Not Pay If the Accident Is Your Fault
- November 1, 2022 |
- Car Accidents
Are Uber and Lyft responsible for passenger injuries in an accident?
Even the most experienced drivers can still make mistakes or end up in accidents. As rideshare behemoths, Uber and Lyft offer coverage to their drivers in the event of an accident. This can give both drivers and passengers peace of mind when accidents happen.
But just because you have coverage with Uber or Lyft does not necessarily mean their coverage will pay when you’re at fault for an accident. It’s important to know the conditions under which Uber and Lyft will pay, so you can know what to expect.
Are Uber and Lyft Responsible for Passenger Injuries in an Accident?
Both Uber and Lyft offer liability coverage to all their drivers. This ensures that any accidents that occur when driving for Uber and Lyft are handled as smoothly and peacefully as possible, so customers won’t be put off in using these apps. Their coverage is similar, which is why we’re able to talk about them together for the most part. Both depend largely on the status of the Uber or Lyft app at the time of the accident.
Uber and Lyft drivers are freelance workers. When they have the app on, they are working for that rideshare company. When the app is off, Uber and Lyft are not responsible for the driver’s actions.
Liability coverage for both Uber and Lyft can be broken down like so:
- App Off. If the app is off, Uber and Lyft are not liable for the accident and will not pay.
- App On, Waiting For Ride Requests. If the app is on and waiting for ride requests, Uber or Lyft will provide third-party liability only where personal auto insurance does not apply. You will need to file the claim with your personal auto insurance first, and if that fails, then it can be filed with Uber or Lyft. Both will cover:
- $50,000 per person for bodily injury, to a maximum of $100,000 per accident
- $25,000 per accident for property damage.
- App On, Ride in Progress. If there is a ride in progress, or if you’re on your way to pick up a passenger when you get in an accident, both Lyft and Uber offer up to $1,000,000 in third-party liability coverage.
This final third-party liability coverage covers both bodily injury and property damage. In addition, they cover first-party charges like uninsured motorist (UM) charges or underinsured motorist coverage (UIM), in the event that an uninsured or underinsured driver hits you and causes bodily injury to you and your passengers.
In California, Lyft and Uber also offer Occupational Accident coverage, which takes care of medical expenses and disability benefits when someone is injured in a covered accident.
What Is First-Party Liability vs. Third-Party Liability?
First-party liability and third-party liability may sound complicated, but they really just describe who covers your insurance in a particular situation. First-party coverage is for claims made directly through the insurance company, while third-party liability goes through a third party like Lyft or Uber.
Does Uber Compensate for Accidents?
So, let’s talk specifically about Uber. Does Uber compensate for accidents?
Uber does compensate for accidents — if your app is turned on and you are actively driving for Uber. If your app is set to available, but you have not picked up a ride request, Uber will still compensate for the accident only if your personal insurance does not cover it. File a claim with your personal insurance first. If that falls through, reach out to Uber.
If you are driving for Uber and you get into an accident, make sure to contact the police so that an official accident report can be filed. Take lots of pictures of the scene, especially any injuries and damage to the vehicles involved. Finally, look for legal representation.
Our team of attorneys at Cava Law Firm are compassionate and understanding. We’ve covered many automobile accident cases, including those involving Uber and Lyft drivers. We can handle communications with both your personal insurance company and Uber and Lyft, to ensure you get the coverage you need.
How Does Uber Insurance Work in an Accident?
Uber insurance covers both accidents that occur with rideshare drivers as well as delivery drivers for Postmates and UberEats. If you have personal insurance, as any Uber driver should, Uber’s third-party insurance will work as a supplement to that plan.
If you are in an accident while a ride request is in progress, first check that you and everyone involved is safe. If you need to call 911 to file an accident report or to request medical assistance, do so. Then you can take the issue to Uber. Open your app and find the “Help” menu. Under “Help,” select “Trips and Adjustments” and finally “I was in an accident.” This will allow you to alert Uber of the situation and submit a crash report.
Uber’s $1,000,000 in coverage during active ride requests (or up to $100,000 when your app is set to available and your personal insurance does not cover) is used to pay for medical bills, repair costs, and lost wages after an accident. Again, if your app is turned on but you have no active ride requests at the time of the accident, you will need to contact your personal auto insurance before reaching out to Uber.
Massachusetts follows a modified “no fault” standard for insurance. That means your case won’t get bogged down with percentages of fault, which can make determining which insurance pays complicated.
In addition to the third-party liability coverage discussed in the above sections, Uber offers UM and UIM coverage, as well as contingent comprehensive and collision coverage. Contingent comprehensive and collision coverage helps to protect you from vehicle damage not caused by a crash — such as damage from hail, fire, or vandalism.
Is Lyft Responsible for Passenger Injuries?
Much like Uber, Lyft is responsible for passenger injuries if you as the driver are currently driving for Lyft.If your app is on, and you have no active ride requests, you can still file a claim with Lyft after first trying to file a claim with your personal insurance.
If you get in an accident while on an active ride request, Lyft can cover the cost of passenger injuries up to $1,000,000. This can be a hefty amount to help with medical expenses and lost wages during recovery time.
If you believe your accident falls within Lyft’s third-party liability coverage, but you’re struggling to get them to pay, our team of lawyers can stand up for your rights.
What if You are Not at Fault for the Accident?
Lyft and Uber’s third-party liability coverage policies are meant to help smooth things over even if the Lyft or Uber driver is found liable. The passenger can know that their medical bills will be covered, and the driver can be confident that they won’t be held personally liable. But what if you are not at fault?
This is where UM and UIM coverage comes in handy, as well as contingent comprehensive and collision coverage. These policies are designed to account for the unexpected, such as:
- Vandalism that damages your vehicle
- Being hit by an uninsured or underinsured driver
- Adverse weather or conditions (such as fire) that damages your vehicle or injures passengers in the vehicle.
In these cases, the same rules apply as those third-party liability coverage rules. Your app must be turned on for Uber or Lyft to offer coverage, and you must either be actively fulfilling a ride request or have reached out to your personal insurance first and been denied.
Can You Still Sue if the Other Driver is at Fault Under No-Fault Law?
Under Massachusetts’ “no fault” accident law, you are entitled to coverage for any injuries or property damage you suffer as the result of an accident, even if you are at fault. Your car insurance is required to offer “compulsory coverage” for the following:
- Bodily injury
- Personal injury protection (PIP)
- Bodily injury caused by an uninsured vehicle
- Damage to someone else’s property.
However, that does not mean you can never take action against the other driver when they are at fault for the accident. You can pursue a claim against the driver who caused the car accident in the event that your injuries or the injuries of your passenger require reasonable medical expenses exceeding $2,000.
Whether you need to defend your entitlement to coverage from Uber or Lyft’s third-party liability or you want to sue the driver at fault for the accident, our team of experienced and compassionate lawyers are here to help you.
Winning is NO Accident! Call Cava Law Firm Today.
Our attorneys, Christopher F. Cava and Jennifer L. Cava-Foreman, have decades of combined experience with Massachusetts law, and we offer a unique personal approach to your case. Every car accident is different; the one thing that’s constant is that we’ll work with you to get the maximum settlement possible, so you can get on with your life.
Contact us today to learn more or to schedule a free consultation: (413) 737-3430 or 781-CAVA (2282).